Snowboarding in Keystone // A Beginner’s Review
There’s nothing quite like living an hour away from one of the snow sport capitals of the world. When we moved to Denver, I had only seen snow maybe five times in my life and therefore obviously had no experience snowboarding. Luckily my boyfriend is an amazing snowboarder & is patient enough to teach me and have fun despite me stumbling my way down the mountain. I feel very blessed to have been able to learn this sport at Keystone & I would suggest it to anyone who is as excited and nervous as I was! I have never been the most athletic so I was terrified of both the learning process and possible failure. That being said, when I looked at the map of Keystone when we were talking about going there, I about crapped my knickers. There are a ton of runs and I had no idea where to even start. Regardless, I was armed with the knowledge of multiple YouTube videos and advice from friends, and we headed up anyway.
Me & My Friend, Monica on the Gondola
When I first started, I thought there was only one bunny slope (the easiest runs) called Discovery which is located at the base of the mountain right next to the North parking lot. This was extraordinarily convenient to get to and it helped my confidence to be able to walk up to the slope and not have to ride a lift to the top of the mountain. Little did I know, if you get on the gondola at River Run, it takes you to the top of the mountain and there are two bunny slopes up there! Now that I know about these runs, I much prefer them over Discovery. As you venture further up the mountain, the snow is softer, the view is better, and there’s a lodge at the top for when you get worn out. It’s very nice to have a place to use the restroom and get some food in the middle of the day without having to go all the way back down the mountain. At both of the introductory runs (at the top and bottom of the mountain) there are conveyer belts that you can stand on which take you back up the slope. These are nice to use on your first day or two until you figure out how to ride the lift. Both of the runs also have pretty small lifts for when you get to that point.
Having multiple slopes to ride on as a beginner is important so you learn different skills. Each slope is different and if you only grow accustomed to a perfectly groomed gradual slope, you’ll be thrown into a loop when you go on a harder run that curves, has flat spots, moguls, and trees along it. Each of the three learning areas at Keystone are very different & will cause you to become a more versatile rider by default if you practice on all three. What is also really nice about the two runs at the top of the mountain is how they continue beyond the standard end point. Meaning, when you’re first starting, you go down a short stint of the slope then get on the belt or lift to go back up. Then when you start to improve, you can go beyond the standard end point that you were stopping at, making the run twice as long but still easy enough that you can do it confidently. On Discovery at the bottom of the mountain, it is simply the one short slope that you go up and down.
On the Bunny Hill (Back When I Had Braces)
Tofu Bowl from the Lodge
At the Top of Schoomarm
View from The Top of Keystone
My Buddy, Evan, on His First Day